OLPC responds to Intel breakup

OLPC responds to Intel breakup

Summary: The One Laptop Per Child Project and Intel broke up their relationship recently. Now it's the OLPC project's turn to speak.


The One Laptop Per Child Project and Intel broke up their relationship recently. Now it's the OLPC project's turn to speak.

Nicholas Negroponte, head of the OLPC project, said the following in a statement, after reports about Intel leaving the project:

"We at OLPC have been disappointed that Intel did not deliver on any of the promises they made when they joined OLPC; while we were hopeful for a positive, collaborative relationship, it never materialized.

Intel came in late to the OLPC association: they joined an already strong and thriving OLPC Board of Directors made up of premier technology partners; these partners have been crucial in helping us fulfill our mission of getting laptops into the hands of children in the developing world. We have always embraced and welcomed other low-cost laptop providers to join us in this mission. But since joining the OLPC Board of Directors in July, Intel has violated its written agreement with OLPC on numerous occasions. Intel continued to disparage the XO laptop in developing nations that had already decided to partner with OLPC (Uruguay and Peru), with countries that were in the midst of choosing a laptop solution (Brazil and Nigeria), and even small and remote places (Mongolia).

Intel was unwilling to work cooperatively with OLPC on software development. Over the entire six months it was a member of the association, Intel contributed nothing of value to OLPC: Intel never contributed in any way to our engineering efforts and failed to provide even a single line of code to the XO software efforts - even though Intel marketed its products as being able to run the XO software. The best Intel could offer in regards to an "Intel inside" XO laptop was one that would be more expensive and consume more power - exactly the opposite direction of OLPC's stated mandate and vision.

Despite OLPC's best efforts to work things out with Intel and several warnings that their behavior was untenable, it is clear that Intel's heart has never been in working collaboratively as a part of OLPC. This is well illustrated by the way in which our separation was announced single-handedly by Intel; Intel issued a statement to the press behind our backs while simultaneously asking us to work on a joint statement with them. Actions do speak louder than words in this case. As we said in the past, we view the children as a mission; Intel views them as a market.

The benefit to the departure of Intel from the OLPC board is a renewed clarity in purpose and the marketplace; we will continue to focus on our mission of providing every child with an opportunity for learning."

At least Negroponte didn't hold anything back. Reading between the lines it does appear that this riff began over Intel's Classmate PC plans as previously noted.

Topic: Intel

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  • Sounds like Intel was only in it to see if they could distract them and

    slow them down. Intel shames themselves with this behavior.
  • Negroponte abusing his WSJ position

    What a crock.

    This guy is now sore Intel told him to go pound sand for demanding that Intel abandon their commitments to Classmate notebook and pour money to make up for AMD's failings.

    Now, he pontificates his views on WSJ in abuse of his paid position at WSJ. This is just the crud I want to see - taking your business issues onto the public forum via the WSJ. This is so AMD like. I wonder if they had a hand in this pathetic outburst.
    • More like Intel abusing their market position and trying to kill competing

      products. The problem was that Intel was still bad-mouthing OLPC. It sounds like Intel only got into this to see if they could throw a monkey wrench in the works and slow it down, nothing more.

      But, the Classmate PC IS also a very innovative computer, and will have applications, though it is NOT designed for rough conditions at schools in developing countries.
    • Need to re-read the article

      I suggest re-reading the article again s-l-o-w-l-y. It says that <b>Intel</b> was the one to release a statement about them leaving the OLPC project first. They did it while telling the OLPC people they should write a statement together announcing the departure.<br><br>I personally like that he went public with it. It shows me what Intel is really like and that they aren't to be trusted to keep their agreement when taking them on as a partner.<br><br>I think my next PC will be AMD based.....
  • AMD probably pushed them out

    with their sweet sweet antitrust money.
    • Sounds like Intel pushed themselves out by not helping at all, and also by

      badmouthing the OLPC. AMD did not have the power to do anything. And, OLPC left the door open to using Intel chips, but the only thing that Intel has right now would raise the cost and increase power consumption. Not exactly what OLPC wants to do right now.
      • Be a bit more transparent in your argument

        OK, I'll make an exception and for this response buy into your premise that Intel is inherently evil, joined OLPC only for sabotage purposes and instructed there sales people to trash XO.
        - DONE.

        Why do you totally ignore in your argument that OLPC demanded Intel abandon their Classmate obligations? Allow for a competing design? Support for Windows? The $6M that Intel poured into the AMD based OLPC camp? Offered to do an Intel version? Agreed to write another $12M check?
        If the objectives of the OLPC were merely "humane" and "required" everyone to not profit (which is ridiculous), what is wrong with multiple designs? Is that XO platform the uber laptop for all eternity?
        • OLPC was only demanding that Intel quit disparging the OLPC. As a partner,

          you must NOT badmouth the product you are developing together.

          Well, we will get the complete details in due time.
      • I am quite sure it was the XO that ...

        ... Intel was 'badmouthing' -- not the OLPC Foundation. Face it, the ONLY reason Intel was interested was that AMD was involved. And the only reason AMD got involved in the first place was because they wanted to 'take on' Intel. COMPETITION brought both AMD and Intel into OLPC and competition is what will bring the $200 laptop to the marketplace in the developing world.
        M Wagner
        • It does not really matter is Intel badmouthed the organization or the

          computer. The agreement that the signed prohibited this. Kind of like having a manufacturing partner badmouthing the product. That is something you can NOT do as a partner. And, AMD was in this from the git go with a CPU that Intel can still not match. Anything that Intel has right now costs more and uses more energy. Intel still has rights to manufacture the same basic motherboard with an Intel chip if they want to.
    • AMD does not have that kind of clout ...

      M Wagner
  • RE: OLPC responds to Intel breakup

    GET REAL to quote this site "The (emerging) market is big enough for multiple players and it???s not clear that students need an alpha male device (my chip is faster than yours and can do office productivity!). The kids just need something that works so let???s not impose that cliche device wars storyline to the OLPC."
    • In the free market ...

      ... it's not what others NEED, it's what they WANT! Governments are far more likely to want to provide their schoolchildren with robust tools that everyone else has than they are to want to provide them with lame specialized tools made specifically for the third world.

      For example, the F-20 was designed by the free market defense industry specifically for the third world and -- because the US Defense Department flew F15s and F-16s, that's what the third world wanted -- not the "lame" F-20.
      M Wagner
      • Can't always get what you want...etc.

        BTW, knew an mwagner once... first, we have the XO, doesn't seem lame to me. many of the software apps. (tools) seem to be the "building blocks" of more complex apps. teaching children easily transferable skills. i.e. XO animation app. v.s. Flash app.
        second, XO encourages kids to learn programming. most adults can barely work pre-loaded software on their "robust" computers. third, it's nice to want something, but to reject something that you need because you can't get what you want, just plain stupid.
      • If by lame, you mean that it supports very few use cases for the developing

        world, that would be the Classmate PC. There is nothing magical about Windows in education. Windows was designed first and foremost for ADULTS to use at work and at home. The XO GUI was designed from the ground up for kids and education. Also skills are very transferable. You learn the basics on any platform, they are transferable to other platforms. XP users can pick up the OSX very quickly for instance. XP users are NOT overly handicapped by the poor functionality of XP.
      • Trying to impose what they think is right for them?

        I remember that General Motors (in the 1970s) designed a boxy fiberglass "car" for the third word, but for the money you could buy a second hand japanese or european "real" car. I also read that young kids nowadays don't want a toy looking phone or digital camera. They want the real deal. Here is a though: Couldn't the applications designed for the XO be rewritten for Windows (and Apple too). So, if in a third word country they already have a secondhand PC (or Apple) they could derive the benefits of XO for the kids, and the same PC could be used by older students to learn traditional word processing, spreadsheets, etc preparing them for the workplace too, and afterwards the PC could be used for administrative tasks. Here were I live (Central America) you can find new PC clones at less $ 200.00 - ($1,300 buys you 7 including tables - marketed as build your Internet Cafe). Sadly, they need electricity vs. the OLPC.
        Roque Mocan
  • RE: OLPC responds to Intel breakup

    I think that Intel dropped the ball on this one. Already established with a significant slice of the industry pie, the onus is on Intel to give back to the technology and online community - especially to those in developing countries in an effort to establish a truly international online community.

    The fact that they made a promise which was then reneged on, only looks poorly on their business practices and reflects on the kind of corporation they truly are; money hungry and marketplace domination focused.

    No thanks, I will be sticking with AMD in the future for systems.
  • Save your Watches!

    It's getting deep.
  • Intel had their own competing laptop...

    ...so why the OLPC project ever thought Intel was going to go all out with them is unknown. Intel clearly positioned their laptop as a competitor to the XO laptop and indeed they do seem to view this more as a market then a mission. Intel wants all the money they can milk from this while XO honestly wants to help the less fortunate. While I am disappointed that the partnership ended up in this condition I can't say I am too surprised.

    - John Musbach
    John Musbach
  • Sour grapes from a sour guy

    Come on folks! Negroponte is one of the most difficult folks around. Personality Conflict defines him. Stories of his people issues are legend.

    When Intel refused to be bullied or kow-tow to his ego issues he had yet another one of his famous meltdowns.

    The only one with egg on his face here is Negroponte IMO. The Intel "Classmate" laptop is trouncing the XO in installs and price-performance *and* it runs Windows. That's reason enough for Mr. N's wounded ego.

    What Negroponte needs is a good one-on-one session with Dr. Phil. Now that's a show I'd watch :-)